I used to be a huge Wix supporter.
When I did my rebrand, that all changed.
In this post, I’m going to give you all the juicy details.
I’ll tell you about:
- problems I experienced when transferring to a new provider
- preventive measures I wish I had taken
- who I still think Wix is a good fit for
Let’s get started.
Me in 2020: Wix, Wix, Wix! 😍
First, let’s talk about why I was such a supporter to begin with.
On the list of Wix pros and cons, I can’t ignore that Wix does boast an impressive slew of advantages over other site builders, including:
- Easy drag and drop, no-code
- Intuitive and attractive user interface
- Great ability to customize
- Impressive array of native integrations (including payment processing, email, and all kinds of things), no need for separate plugins
- Great for team collaboration, with flexible permission settings for different contributors
- Easy third-party integration capacity
- Affordable pricing, with multiple tracks
And all that really did serve me well when I was in the infant stage of my business and my needs were minimal.
But if I had had a wee bit more experience, I would have asked better questions. I now know there are a whole lot more factors to consider when choosing the best website builder for a small business beyond price and ease, that can save you a lot of hassle and headache down the line.
Me today: Wix? Why-I-oughtta…😡
Things started getting rocky between Wix and me when I decided to move my site over to Webflow and suddenly lost access to my entire blog. Dozens of posts. Hundreds of hours of work. All locked away and out of reach. (More on that in a moment.)
But the romance really dissolved when I decided to transfer my Wix domain to another site. (More on that in a moment, too.)
Problem 1: The blog lockout
Setting up the transfer to Webflow was relatively painless….until my blog posts were taken hostage!
I couldn't get any of the blog posts out there as a CSV file, or in any other format.
(Luckily, my developer figured out a workaround that enabled us to scrape the site and pull out all the live posts, and that saved us a lot of time. But we lost all drafts and scheduled posts.)
If that was the extent of the frustration, I could shoot Wix a dirty look and move on. But that was just a minor hiccup compared to problem 2.
Problem 2: The domain transfer nightmare
Turns out that domain transfers are one of the major disadvantages of Wix. Did you know that? I didn’t.
But it became painfully obvious when I transferred my domain out of Wix to another host — and Wix locked me out!
Sure, Wix let go of the domain and enabled the transfer, but in the interim period, they took down my site. That means that for three whole days, day-by-day.biz took visitors to a 404 page: rather embarrassing for a self-proclaimed “tech whiz” 🙈.
While it’s standard for it to take three days for the transfer to go through, it is not standard, necessary, or NICE to take down the site in the interim.
(Apparently there's some sort of registration thing there. I also did not know that. Did you?)
It all felt a bit Hotel California-esque.
After the three days, the domain problem was solved, but I was not impressed.
Problem 2b: The email horror (relative of the domain nightmare)
There was also an indirect annoyance related to the three-day domain transfer wait that had to do with my email server.
I was using an external host for my email domain (Namecheap). When the site moved to Webflow, I couldn't figure out why Namecheap didn't take over the email sending. Suddenly all my sent mail was bouncing.
Eventually, I figured out how to solve the problem. And if you’re experiencing this problem, check out this tip 👇
💡Pro tip: If you’re experiencing problems with sending or receiving emails via Namecheap as a result of DNS transfer issues, give this a try. In your domain settings go to advanced DNS > Mail settings > Second mail settings > Private email. In addition, you’ll need to add a text record to the server for DKIM. You can find the text to add here. Once you’ve got that set up, you should be good to go.
Luckily for me, the email horror of 2023 happened over the weekend, when I don’t send out too many emails anyway. And I don’t think anyone noticed (except my developer — and he was just as frustrated as I was).
Preventive measures I wish I had taken
If I knew all this back when I was building my site for the first time, I might have made a different choice.
At the very least, I would have taken some preventive measures to assure that I always had full control over my content and my domain.
For example, I would have
- Backed up all live blog posts
- Used Wix only for live posts, and done my post planning and scheduling elsewhere
- Invested in ownership of the DNS right from the beginning instead of being wooed by Wix’s tempting “one year free” domain hosting offer
Let me qualify that last point.
The free year (and discounted offers after that) really are appealing, but then transferring servers once your year is up comes at a cost. It might not be a financial cost, but it’s worth considering nonetheless.
Who I still think Wix is a good fit for
Honestly, today, I would just suggest most business owners skip Wix and go directly to another site builder like Webflow, which I am loving. It's a little bit more complex, but it's a lot better in the long run.
Having said that, I still think Wix is a good site builder option for people who have a very small budget and no major growth plans for their business. If you just want a quick plug and play site that looks nice and is easy to maintain, you might be a good candidate.
If you do have any plans to grow or expand, do your due diligence and read up about Wix’s pros AND cons before committing. (I recommend this article for starters.)
And definitely don’t use Wix for domain hosting, unless you plan on staying with them forever and ever. Remember: Hotel California 😜